LETTER: Political agenda in planning decisions

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The planning committee for the south of Horsham District Council has done it again.

On two separate occasions this committee has turned down an application to build a new crematorium on the A272 at West Grinstead, the most recent occasion was on 17 December 2013.

This is despite HDC’s planning officers recommending to the committee that the application be granted.

The leader, councillor Ray Dawe, and councillor Claire Vickers are members of this committee.

Their political agenda appears to be to stop any development that can be dumped onto North Horsham from going ahead in the southern rural wards.

So the crematorium can go in the Liberty development north of the A264 – funny that Liberty didn’t mention that in their glitzy ‘Hollywood’ style leaflet sent to residents in Horsham, yet it is tucked away in HDC’s preferred housing strategy.

The impact of slow-moving funeral cars has presumably been built into the computerised traffic assessment impact model that needs to be taken for the impact on the A264 of all this proposed development.

In the old days they counted cars, lorries etc. in a traffic survey. Now they do it by modelling – updating the last assessment from 2009. Do we believe that will be realistic?

The location of this crematorium is another political decision not a decision based upon evidence or the planning needs of our District.

In the same way councillor Vickers decided in her plan to put a new secondary school, which could possibly be a ‘free school’ of the type that residents of Southwater rejected in 2012, not actually in Southwater where a secondary school is needed, but rather on the Liberty site north of the A264.

A site which West Sussex County Council has already confirmed would not allow a secondary school to be viable without in all likelihood extending the school catchment area eastwards into Bewbush, Crawley, thus further increasing the coalescence of the two towns.


Orchard Road, Horsham